- a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
- a self-contradictory and false proposition.
- any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.
- an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion.
Origin of paradox
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for paradox
To appreciate the Palmer paradox, it's important to understand that Palmer's childhood and young adulthood were dichotomous.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
But Washington was a prisoner to its paradox of an Iraq policy.
As a result of this paradox, the Iraq policy process ground to a halt at the very moment that ISIS was on the rise.
The result has been a bit of a paradox: a majority that is decidedly radical in its aims but a bit gradualist in its methods.Only Eight Years of President Hillary Can Take the Supreme Court Away From Conservatives
June 30, 2014
Read more from The Daily Beast on Flight 370: The Flight 370 Paradox: How Do You Mourn a Missing Person?Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 May Have Been Flown Into the World's Biggest Void
March 15, 2014
The whole is a ruin, yet intact, if I may be pardoned the paradox.The Roof of France
Paradox alone could hint the condition of her mind just then.A Spirit in Prison
Are you saying this as a paradox, Dionysodorus; or do you seriously maintain no man to be ignorant?Euthydemus
A paradox this to Maimon, and roundly denied as impossible when he first heard of it.Dreamers of the Ghetto
To a Frenchman, everything is a platitude that is not a paradox.The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly
Charles James Lever
- a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement that is or may be truereligious truths are often expressed in paradox
- a self-contradictory proposition, such as I always tell lies
- a person or thing exhibiting apparently contradictory characteristics
- an opinion that conflicts with common belief
Word Origin and History for paradox
1530s, "statement contrary to common belief or expectation," from Middle French paradoxe (14c.) and directly from Latin paradoxum "paradox, statement seemingly absurd yet really true," from Greek paradoxon, noun use of neuter of adjective paradoxos "contrary to expectation, incredible," from para- "contrary to" (see para- (1)) + doxa "opinion," from dokein "to appear, seem, think" (see decent). Meaning "statement that is seemingly self-contradictory yet not illogical or obviously untrue" is from 1560s.
- That which is apparently, though not actually, inconsistent with or opposed to the known facts in any case.
A statement that seems contradictory or absurd but is actually valid or true. According to one proverbial paradox, we must sometimes be cruel in order to be kind. Another form of paradox is a statement that truly is contradictory and yet follows logically from other statements that do not seem open to objection. If someone says, “I am lying,” for example, and we assume that his statement is true, it must be false. The paradox is that the statement “I am lying” is false if it is true.